So, I was going to whip out this RPS PWP, right? Right. Friday. It's turning into a pornish- YA novel, for god's sake. Which... okay, I suppose. I have such a love of "coming of age" young adult
I am very excited about the new findings coming out on stem cell research, although I feel it's ridiculous we have to have this debate AT ALL. hahaha. I like alienating people right off the bat like that. Back to science! Let me state my positions clearly, so we can move on (either by you defriending me, or nodding your head.)
- It's not alive unless the mother has bonded with the fetus (IMO.) I am pro-choice, obviously
- Stem cells from gamete fusion are the best way to study and protect people already alive
- I'm a proponent of fixing what's here already (living people)
- This includes animal research for science. (Not makeup testing, which disgusts me.) This has nothing to do with the current topic, I'm just putting that out there.
Okay. My background is biology, especially genetics. Those of us that have been directly affected (do NOT use the word "impacted" here. That word... I do not think it means, what you think it means.) by genetic disorders in our family/friends can appreciate how wonderful it would be to find a simple solution to something like Alzheimer's. Parkinson's. Autism. And we can.
A blastocyst is eight cells. Eight cells that determine EVERYTHING a human will or will not be. That's pretty awe inspiring, if you think about it. Everything is genetic, people. It's all genes. It's all chemicals. Your personality is chemicals. Your food likes. Your hair. How often you have to clip your nails. Whether you are more susceptible for cancer, for bone breaks, for drug addiction, for success, for a healthy weight. I don't get hung up on the "moral" issues of whether we should tamper with genes. We've tampered with genes from the beginning.
What? Yeah. Animal husbandry. Plant selection. Natural selection. A physical "type" you're attracted to. It's all an attempt to control genetic material. Now, do I think people should go in and change the sex of their baby? No. Hair color? No. Eliminate Sickle-Cell Anemia in utero? Hell yes. I have a sister that is a non-verbal autistic. Now, I don't talk about her a lot, because it's a very private thing, my relationship. It's been difficult, it's been heartbreaking, and it's been incredible rewarding. What if there was a way that we could have "fixed" her? Given her a better chance at life? I had a cousin that was born with Nuerofibromatosis Type 1 (NF-1), lived a horribly painful existence until the age of four, and died a painful death. Now, the Christian sees this as a lesson from god, a way to have a better understanding of his mysteries, etc. I cannot even GO down that road, because it drives me nuts. That's a shitty god that uses a child to teach an adult a lesson.
MOVING ON. NF-1 is caused by one protein. ONE. One amino acid caused my cousin to live and die painfully. Down Syndrome is typically caused by ONE EXTRA chromosome. (usually on the 17th, 18th, or 21rst chromosome) To me, it's asinine to have a debate about the "morality" of using inert matter in petri dishes to give living beings (and future generations) a better quality of life. If you want to go the Christian route (like our President), then look at it this way: god gave man intelligence so he could do for himself. So... do for yourself.
How it works: donated eggs and sperm are joined in laboratory conditions to get to the blastocyst stage. (Quick recap of bio 101: sperm + egg, two gametes make a zygote. Zygote splits into two cells, those two split, become four, the four split and become eight. Blastocyst. This takes roughly 72 hours.) Those eight cells now contain all the information needed to make an entire human. Technically, you aren't medically considered pregnant until this mass of cells attaches itself to the endometrium in the womb. The father's genetic information doesn't even BECOME a player in the development of a fetus until several cell-divisions AFTER this point. (Something they fail to mention often in these types of debates.)
The fact that the debate about this material that is being manipulated in laboratories to create a better, healthier life for generations to come and the ethics of it boggles me. I just really don't understand it, not from a "boo, religion!" mindset, but from true bafflement. I'm pro-betterment of humanity. I'm pro-genetic manipulation of foods to increase health and longevity. I'm basically FOR ways to improve quality of life. The cells being used for stem-cell research WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE PEOPLE. They are not being robbed from good women's bodies. Men aren't being milked for sperm in their sleep. (Although I bet they wouldn't object.) These are cells (They are GAMETES, half of the genetic material required for human production!) that were frozen/stored for purposes of learning.
Basically, I just really hate George Bush. Hahahaha.
So the NEW technique goes to the eight cell stage, takes ONE of the cells, and leaves the other seven for implantation, should a woman choose in vitro fertilization. So. Nothing is "killed" or destroyed. It's also incredibly chancy, as it's not as effective as the original plan (take eight cells and manipulate the gene code with eight chances). BUT. They can't get ANY research properly done because of the "ethics" of involving potential humans. Which were never going to be humans. *sigh* So, now the scientific community is bending over backwards trying to find a way to NOT upset anyone, and Bush is back peddling now, saying "we just shouldn't involve ANY humans" instead of his original stance that it was the destruction of the embryos after testing that was the problem. *SIGH* There's more to this debate, but I'm just ranting now, and it's getting obnoxious to ME. *feels for you all at this point. All one of you who stuck this out*
I wish Americans didn't have such a Hollywood induced mindset with scientists. (IE: evil, out to control the world, no morals, no regard for life... BAH, I say.)
You know what's going to make me feel better? Some YA porn. I mean... YA stories. :)